Combatting Winter Doldrums

This was written for my Close to Home column to appear in the 12/ 7/16 issue  of The Prospect-News in Doniphan, MO.

There is no one to blame but myself; I know better. The relapse caught me off guard, inflicting an overdose of doldrums too early in this winter season.

If I could pass blame, it would be directed at television. Months go by without my watching one entire show. Last week, though, perhaps pushed by the arrival of cold winter rains to get cozy in the rocking chair in front of the screen, I soaked up a lot of programming. Much of it was a downer – news, talk panels, soaps, crime/detective/medical series blurring the lines between fiction and reality – so I had to search for uplifting, laugh-provoking broadcasts. It takes a lot of laughs to tip the scales to healthy viewing, if it can be labeled that.

Negativity takes a toll on the body and the brain. Television would argue that I have insurmountable power over it, and I do, IF I use that on/off button and reach for the printed word instead.

Reading, even from digital sources, exercises the brain, providing strong antidotes to winter doldrums and warding off worrisome side effects that include blood pressure issues, weight gain, stress overloads, delayed decision -making, foggy thinking, memory lapses, and focus challenges.

Readers are more empathetic and better problem solvers. A candidate for Secretary of Defense has a library of 10,000 books and has read most of them, according to a radio newscaster. Perhaps being a reader should be a qualification for all Cabinet selections, especially if the Commander in Chief-elect claims not to be one.

Periodically I threaten to cancel my television service; I have reduced it to basic programming for now. On this week’s agenda is rearranging the furniture so my cozy rocker is closer to a bookshelf, not in direct line of the tv. I will find more steps I can take to ward off another relapse of television-induced melancholy. Winter might hang around a while. I want to welcome it with hope.

 

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About gleefulee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making passionate, lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. Now totally retired and looking for my summers to be full of fun as well! Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still very much a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content contributor for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist for our local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness.
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